I just sent out a Manager's Picklist for January.
Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chavalier
Based on the real life character, Mary Anning, a fossil hunter in England in the mid 1800s who unearthed major fossil finds before the word dinosaur had even been coined. The reader is transported to the cold wet beaches of Lyme Regis, England where two friends discover fossils together in a pre Darwin world where evolution is'nt a concept and nobody wants to believe that God did not, as one of Chevalier's characters puts it, "plan out what He would do with all of the animals He created". An absorbing read threading the science of the day with society's class consciousness as well as a tender tale of friendship.